Dec 23, 2014

12 Resolutions: December (and November recap)

This year I'm playing along with #12Resolutions on Twitter and Facebook. The idea is to set yourself short-term, achievable goals, one each month. 

For November my goal was to tidy and clean the house, in preparation for the kids' ninth birthday party.  

Tick! It took a lot of work, but for a short, sweet time (two weeks) I had a thoroughly clean, tidy, decluttered and sweet-smelling house. 

Even a tidy front and back yard.

It's still not bad, but it is on its way back to normal, unfortunately. I don't have the effort or will to maintain the way it was forever. I tell myself I hold other things in higher importance to a tidy house. I tell myself kids and pets are messy and life is messy. But really, I just hate cleaning, and I am lazy. 

But the kids' party was a success, and I only gritted my teeth a couple of times (for a couple of kids - one not even invited - who push my buttons every time as they never say please or thank you, and their parents never get out of their car while dropping them off and picking them up).

We had a fairly traditional, low-key party, with cheap, homemade games (jelly bean blindfolded taste testing, dance statues, and the bloody mandatory Pass the Parcel). My prizes for the games were the cheapest $1 crap I could source, the lolly bags were filled with cheap toxic sweets and a couple of useless trinkets, and I only offered two drinks to all the kids: cheap fruit cocktail cordial poured from jugs, and water.  

For the grown-up guests I had a cheese-cracker-and-dip platter and some homemade spinach and cheese pies (fancy!), packets of homebrand potato chips, two bottles of soft drink, one $5 bottle of cleanskin wine and 6 bottles of light beer. I usually over-cater, but this year being on a tight budget forced me not to - and sure enough, there was still plenty of everything to go around. 

More surprisingly, I heard from both grown-ups and kids that it was a great party - not that it seemed so to me, but you can't really tell when you're in the thick of it, running round hosting, and are also a hybernating introvert not well-practiced in hosting anything.  


So anyway, on to December.

We're almost at the end, but my resolution for December was to have a well-organised, stress-free and on-budget Christmas.  This year for the first time my kids are not expecting Santa, so they have automatically lowered their gift haul expectations, which is advantageous (if a little sad!)  They are still going to do alright, but we are scaling down. 

Christmas this year is going to be pretty easy for us. My sister and her husband are hosting Christmas lunch, and for the evening we are going to my cousin's place. Hence, as I don't have to do anything more than bring a couple of platters and salads and some drinks, there is no reason for me to feel stressed at all.

Except you do, of course. It's a busy time of year with lots going on, and the expenses keep climbing as the day draws near. Chocolates for work, candy canes or tiny gifts for school friends (I hate that one), teacher gifts (suddenly there are a lot of teachers.... I went with boxes of chocolates this year for everyone), endless trips to Kmart and the supermarket as you remember something else... and meanwhile life's ongoing obligations and expenses continue.

So yes, it is stressful, and I am SO thankful I am not hosting Christmas in any way, and I am VERY grateful to my sister and cousin who are.

But the good news is, I am almost ready. Almost.

How are you managing the last days before Christmas?


January: walk 5 times a week (achieved - I now walk daily)
February: write 2 short stories (failed - wrote none)
March: write 1 short story, and start Project Management course (done)
April: visit GP and complete or schedule the follow-ups (done)

May: complete one module of Project Management course (failed)
June: working day money savers: public transport and packed lunch (done)

July: pay attention to needs, moods and emotions to manage reactions (done, and ongoing)
August: limit time-wasting activities on my phone (done - and still going pretty well)
September: 15 mins floor exercises daily (nope)
October: get more sleep (yes)

November: tidy and clean house for December entertaining (done)
December: an organised, on-budget and stress-free Christmas!


  1. Congratulations on getting through all your resolutions.

    1. Thank you! Can't believe I'm at the last one.

  2. You have had an amazing success rate with your resolutions. Congratulations.
    Christmas is nearly done here. I think. I am in the middle of a stress related clean (for a visitor who won't notice) and have a cooking day ahead tomorrow but it is very almost under control.
    I hope yours is wonderful.

    1. I hope yours is wonderful too. As for the cleaning: YOU will notice and be glad of it. Have a great Christmas

  3. In my opinion you are well organised full- time working mother.Happy New Year

    1. Thank you so much Gosia! I love to hear that even if it isn't always true. :)

  4. Hi Jackie,

    Christmas is sorted. Sadly I have to work right up until Xmas Eve but we too are within budget, despite the fact my two lads (18 and 21) have emptied the fridge of all the goodies.

    We call them "the locusts".

    Merry Xmas to you and your family.




    1. My kids too ate like locusts on the holidays. I can't keep up with the food! Enjoy your Christmas PM

  5. Still love that penguin cake.
    Well done on remaining unstressed - I'm getting a bit stressed about going down to Tassie, but it will all be fine.

    1. Thank you. I was a bit proud of that cake as I pulled it together in about 20 mins and A loved it.
      I am not remaining unstressed - but trying to keep things as low key and cheap as possible to keep stress down. And I keep reminding myself there is no need to stress.
      Enjoy your Tassie Christmas x



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